Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flip-Flopping an Entire Political Philosophy

Recently the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel determined that Senator Alberta Darling flip-flopped on the issue of continuing to pay Milwaukee police after being fired from the job. If they are going to start monitoring Darling on doing that kind of thing, they are going to have a very busy summer.

Alberta Darling has not only been on both sides of several specific issues but she has more importantly performed a full flip-flop of her entire political philosophy. At one time she was legitimately viewed as a moderate Republican but that has not been true for some time. If there was any doubt about the surrendering of her "moderate" credentials one doesn't have to look very far. Right wing extremism has been in overreaching overdrive all year and Alberta Darling has been more than willing to enable and even advocate for it.

Following the most extreme elements of her party, Alberta Darling voted to defund Planned Parenthood's family planning services. They had this collective right wing knee jerk as if the funding were going toward abortions. However state law already prohibits such funds from being used for abortions and they know it. It was nothing more than a naked attack based on extreme ideology. Planned Parenthood has used such funds for services like providing contraceptive supplies, pregnancy testing, screening for cervical cancer and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Yet Alberta Darling, a former board member of Planned Parenthood, has now taken up an irrational and extreme position opposing such important services. [Milwaukee Journal, 10/18/90]

Consider some of the following to get an even better view of how far Darling has gone on women's health issues:

  • When she first won a seat in the Assembly the headlines read, "Pro-choicer wins special election in the 10th". It went on to describe how her first campaign was greatly aided by groups like NARAL. [Abortion Report, 4/6/90]
  • After her first win in the Assembly, Darling reaffirmed that her abortion rights stance was "very clear...very strong". [Milwaukee Journal, 6/17/90]
  • In 1996 Alberta Darling actually declared that the Republican Party had put the ultra-conservative abortion issue behind them. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/11/96]

This year Alberta Darling also voted to allow people to carry concealed guns just about anywhere that they want to bring them. That vote is also quite divergent from the old Alberta Darling. Shortly after starting her political career she commented on how her district supported gun control. A few years later she actually proposed legislation regulating certain kinds of handguns. During that time she commented that it was a public safety issue and that those kinds of handguns should be regulated like automobile ownership. [Milwaukee Journal, 1/14/91 and 4/12/94]

So while it is perfectly appropriate to take a look at Alberta Darling's more specific political flip-flops, we also should be looking at the fact that she has flip-flopped her entire political philosophy. Sorry, but she is not even close to being the same person that her district first elected. These are all sad signs that her many years as a career politician have caused her to grow completely out-of-touch not only with her district but also with her(former)self.

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